Arsenal on this day: Twenty Arsenal stories from 1st May.

?May 1889: Singleton and Stewart, two of the men who led the split away from Royal Arsenal to form ROFFC attend the annual dinner as leading members of RAFC.  The exact date is unknown.

1 May 1902  Tim Coleman, one of the stalwarts of early football trade unionism, joined Arsenal from Northampton.  He went on to play nearly 200 games for the club.

1 May 1902: Roderick McEachrane joined Arsenal from West Ham.  He went on to play 346 games for Arsenal over 14 years.

1 May 1920: Arsenal 3 Bradford 0. The last senior game for David Greenaway.  In the war he had served with the Royal Field Artillery and after 161 league games there is a suggestion he went on to Margate, although details are sketchy.   This was also Arsenal’s first ever league match in May.  Following the extension of league to 42 clubs the previous rule that football always ended on 30 April was abandoned.    Attendance 30,000.  Arsenal finished the season in 10th.

1 May 1926: Herbert Chapman ended his first season with Arsenal 3 Birmingham 0 and Arsenal an unprecedented 2nd in the league, after just missing relegation one year earlier.  Jimmy Brain scored two to make it 34 goals in 41 games, beating the previous record of Harry King (26 in 37 games in 1914/5)

? May 1936: David Nelson joined Arsenal.  He played his first game in December, but as with so many his was a promising career interrupted by war.  He returned briefly in 1946.

1 May 1937: Last game for Alex James.  One of our five greatest players to be sure, and also a forgotten captain. During the war he served with the Royal Artillery and then became a journalist before being invited by Arsenal to coach the youth team.

1 May 1943: Arsenal 7 Charlton 1 in the Football League Cup South, wartime final.  75,000 turned up for the game at Stamford Bridge.

1 May 1948: Arsenal 8 Grimsby 0.  Having finished 13th the season before, Tom Whittaker ended his first season in charge with the league title finishing seven points ahead of second placed Man U.  It was also the league debut of Lionel Smith.  

1 May 1953: By beating Burnley 3-2 in the final match of the season Arsenal won the league on goal average.  With Arsenal 3-1 up at half time, and Burnley attacking in atrocious conditions, it was widely reported that part way through the second half manager Tom Whittaker, left the dugout and reputedly poured himself a stiff drink.

1 May 1962: Final appearance of Jack Kelsey.  Arsenal 2 Everton 3. In his autobiography he wrote, “There is one very good reason why I believe few if any star players will come to Highbury, and that is that the Arsenal do everything legally.”

1 May 1962: George Swindin resigned after losing 3-2 to Everton and ending the season in 10th. He was replaced by Billy Wright.  Swindin went on to manage Norwich, Cardiff, Kettering and Corby.

1 May 1971: Arsenal 1 Stoke 0 in the penultimate league match of the first Double season.  The result left Arsenal one point behind with one game in hand and a goal average 0.01 goals better than Leeds.  A 0-0 draw in the final match would win the League, but not a scoring draw.

1 May 1980: Arsenal beat Liverpool 1-0 in third replay of cup semi final with a goal from Talbot.  For reasons that never became clear the game was played at Coventry’s modest sized ground.

1 May 2001: Juan signed from São Paulo. He never played for Arsenal, and after a three match loan spell at Millwall returned to Brazil.

1 May 2004: Arsenal 0 Birmingham 0.  The 35th league game of the unbeaten season.  With the title won but four games to go the nerves on making it unbeaten all season start to show.

1 May 2006: Sunderland 0 Arsenal 3.  This is the match in which Diaby was viciously assaulted by Dan Smith and his career wrecked for years to come.  Sunderland clearly didn’t want to be tainted by Smith and loaned him out.  After eight games with Huddersfield he went to Scotland, and by 2008 was playing non-league football.

1 May 2008: Keith Edelman resigned as a Director at Arsenal Holdings plc but continued until May 2009 as a consultant having overseen the Emirates project

1 May 2009: Stan Kroenke became the largest shareholder in Arsenal with 28.3%

1 May 2004: Arsenal 0 Birmingham C 0.  Having won the league at Tottenham on 25 April there were concerns that celebrations might spoil the chance of an historic Unbeaten season.


The Index to the AISA Arsenal History Society site appears here.

One Reply to “Arsenal on this day: Twenty Arsenal stories from 1st May.”

  1. Juan played for Arsenal twice in the 2001/02 season, starting a game apiece in each domestic cup competition.

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